Brazil police arrest suspect of drug gang

AP News
Posted: May 10, 2011 2:53 PM
Brazil police arrest suspect of drug gang

The last suspect of a drug-trafficking ring that used a Brazilian Air Force cargo plane 12 years ago to fly cocaine to Europe has been arrested, police said Tuesday.

Jose Roberto Monteiro Zau was arrested Sunday as he left his mother's home in Rio de Janeiro, said Federal Police inspector Fabio Andrade.

Andrade says Zau had returned to Brazil several months ago from Portugal and had been responsible for receiving drug shipments and distributing them in Europe.

In 1999, police in the northeastern Brazil city of Recife seized more than 70 pounds (30 kilograms) of cocaine aboard a Hercules C-130 plane bound for Spain.

Five people, including a U.S. citizen who police said led the gang and two Air Force officers, were arrested and are currently in jail in Rio de Janeiro.

Last week, federal police arrested 16 suspected members of a criminal organization composed mostly of Serbians who were wanted by Interpol for international drug trafficking.

Eight of those arrested were Serbian citizens.

That operation concluded a two-year investigation that resulted in the arrests of 35 people, the seizure of 1,370 pounds (620 kilograms) of cocaine and the equivalent of $1.2 million in cash.